Miss America Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson Reportedly Resigns Following Swimsuit Round Debate

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Gretchen Carlson resigned from her position as board chairwoman of Miss America.

Carlson was a part of the group that led the decision to eliminate the swimsuit round from the Miss America pageant, according to Page Six, which reported the resignation Wednesday. At the time, the decision caused disagreement between members of the board.

Carlson released a statement following her decision saying she was “extremely proud of the work we have collectively done.”

“With a promising network partnership, the time is ideal to give new leadership the opportunity to move forward with what has been accomplished,” Carlson added. “Miss America will always be a part of who I am and I will enthusiastically watch as the organization continues to grow and succeed.” (RELATED: Survey Shows What Americans Think About Miss America Cutting Its Swimsuit Competition)

Carlson will be replaced by Shantel Krebs, former South Dakota secretary of state. Carlson plans to stay on the board to assist in the transition.

Carlson’s decision to resign from the board comes after representatives from 22 state pageants started a petition in July of 2018 to have members of the board resign, Page Six reported. The pageant announced the decision to eliminate the swimsuit competition in June of 2018.

Many contestants and pageant organizers disagreed with the move and raised legal funds to push top board members out of their positions. TV ratings for the televised pageant also saw a drop after the decision.

“We are grateful for the talents, expertise and time Gretchen gave to move this organization to relevancy, diversity and inclusion for a new generation of young women,” Regina Hooper, Miss America CEO, said. “We are thrilled she will continue to move this transition forward as an adviser to the board as we work toward a successful Miss America 2020 on NBC, and the 100th anniversary of this American icon in 2021.”